The new rating design has already proven controversial among those who have seen it, as there are concerns that it may be used to give customers the wrong impression about a product. If, for example, a company is able to get a large number of five-star reviews published on its product page, users may focus on that figure and ignore a litany of negative reviews. It is possible that Amazon may attempt to address that potentiality by only showing the percentage of five-star reviews left by trusted users whose purchases were verified, however. At this time, the test appears to be limited in scope, and it remains unclear whether Amazon will roll it out more broadly in the future.
It’s perhaps no surprise that Amazon is testing a change to its rating system, as the company recently announced the arrival of a new feature intended to simplify things: AI-generated review summaries. Of note, the feature seems to be intended to cut down on rating manipulation by only factoring in reviews from customers who are trusted and whose purchases are verified. Amazon notoriously has a problem with fake and incentivized reviews that can be used to manipulate customers into purchasing low-quality or counterfeit products. The company has taken steps to address the problem by, among other things, suing so-called fake review brokers.